The Final Stand For Liberty of Conscience

We are preparing for one last stand, the final defense of all that is good; the elucidation of the principles of protestantism and republicanism in their truest sense. Prophecy tells us that this defense will fail and that the majority will give up their God given rights and liberty to think for themselves as it relates to who and when they worship. Church and state will unite once more and a theocracy will result with so-called Christianity legislated as the state-based religion enforced by the laws of the land. It will come as a direct response to the decline of America and the western world in morality, economic stability, and a healthy ecology. The reasoning championed by its proponents will be eloquent and, to those unfamiliar with history and the character of God, their arguments will be seductive and convincing.

The crisis will be so severe that to hesitate will be seen as putting the very survival of the nation at risk. To raise concern and question their logic will be seen as divisive, anti-Christian, and anti-American. You will be accused of blaspheming God and blamed for the very calamities and immorality that the proponents of this legislated morality do not realize will only be made worse through forcing people to do what in their hearts they are not convinced of. Most people will give in to the pressure in an attempt to spare their lives and their property. 

This Documentary is an example of this aim to unite church and state

But in this apparent failure to turn the tide of despotism, true lovers of liberty and truth will respond to the Spirit of God. They will stand with us as the storms of the wrath of man and Satan gather to unleash their fury, and in the darkest moment where all seems lost, the God of Jacob, the God and Father of Jesus Christ will deliver us, and His Son will come to claim us as His own. Hallelujah.

What is our preparation at this eleventh hour of earth’s history? Study history in light of the message God has given us. See the attempts to pass religious laws that were thwarted in the late 1880s and into the 1890s by men that God raised up for that critical hour to defy the schemes of man and of Satan. Pray to understand the nuance and for gratitude to men like Jones and Waggoner who at that time, when they were submitted to God, were mighty instruments in His hands to liberate the captives from the bondage of false conceptions of God’s character and to open up our eyes to the source of true liberty.

A good reenactment of the arguments A.T. Jones made in 1888

The attempt in the late 1800s to pass religious laws at the national level (most states had already passed unconstitutional religious laws) was not a singular and novel event. This history had been repeated in the colonial period of the fledgling American experiment, and only a handful of men and women warned of the dangers of a union of church and state.

The principles found within the third clause of the sixth article (“but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust”) and in the first amendment of the US Constitution were espoused by a man who understood things about God’s character that were over one hundred and thirty years ahead of his time, and were to a large degree inspired by his teachings. Roger Williams stood against this false conception of a state enforced religion by which people were fined, jailed, and tortured for refusing to attend church on Sunday or denying the trinity. He eloquently and courageously showed that the use of the state by the church to enforce their creeds was antithetical to the very life and teaching of Jesus Christ.

What was the result? Roger Williams was canceled. He was forced to flee into the wilderness in the midst of winter in Massachusetts, leaving his family behind to avoid being arrested and deported back to England to likely be imprisoned. He wandered through the harsh winter wilderness for 14 weeks before he found refuge with the Wampanoag and later the Narragansett Indians, whom he had befriended in his efforts to teach them of the God of the Bible. They sold him the land which he used to found the settlement of Providence, which would become the colony of Rhode Island. For the first time in modern history, the constitution of Rhode Island gave complete liberty of conscience, civil and religious liberty to all men, and this was used in the development of the United States Constitution. 

Roger Williams showed how the parable of wheat and tares relates to religious liberty

Tragically, the puritan and pilgrim colonists who founded a number of the northern colonies could not give to others the very thing that they risked everything to experience for themselves. They left Europe and braved the unknown of the new world, venturing across the Atlantic, for religious liberty. Europe had been terrorized for 1200 years by the despotic union of church and state, not only by the union of Roman Catholicism with the state, but also by the Protestant churches using the state to enforce their creeds as well. The origin of this was formalized in the fourth century and was the fulfillment of the warnings of Paul:

2 Thessalonians 2:3-7 KJVS

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

This union of the professed Christian Church with the state in the fourth century was the zenith of the falling away of the early Christian church. For the first time “Christianity” became the official religion of the Roman Empire and the state began to enforce religious laws. In the fourth century, the Roman Emperor, Constantine, who claimed to have converted to Christianity, under the influence of the bishops passed the first religious laws declaring Sunday the official day of rest in place of the Seventh Day Sabbath of the fourth Commandment. People became “Christians” not out of a love for the truth but out of fear of punishment.

This video argues that the Edict of Milan in 313 AD was good for religious freedom. AT Jones argued otherwise. Read here: The Dark Side of the Edict of Milan (313 AD)

Sadly, by doing this the church had done the very same thing that had been done to it. At times in the past centuries, pagan emperors had persecuted the Christians, and now professed Christians wielded the power of the state to persecute all whom they deemed heretical. Rather than the enforcement of Christianity by the state being a good thing for the church, it utterly corrupted it. The number of professed Christians swelled dramatically, but men were either forced against their will for fear of losing property, positions, or their lives, or they professed to be Christian in order to gain status, titles, money, and land.

Through the union of church and state liberty of conscience was violated. Men could no longer follow their consciences free of coercion. The character of God was cast to the ground as the use of force was completely contrary to the principles and life of Jesus. God wants men to worship Him “in spirit and in truth,” because they are persuaded of His goodness and His ways and not because they are forced to. Being forced to worship sucks the worship of all its vitality, and requires more and more force to keep it going.

This was the beginning a period tyranny that remained until the writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and then the United States Constitution in 1789, which to quote William Gladstone, the British prime minister in 1878, “the American Constitution is the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man”. 

See how Gladstone, one of Britain's greatest prime ministers, understood John Adam's statement that: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

The coming of the mark of the beast and the union of church and state was prophesied almost 1800 years in advance by the apostle John while banished on Patmos. The desecration of the law of God, through the governments of man overstepping their God given authority and using the state to control the consciences of men as it relates to the worship of their Creator, was inevitable. Based on how things began, God could foresee how they would end.

God’s remnant people could have sat back in the late 1800s and allowed the union of church and state to happen. They were tempted to think that they would be attempting to defy prophecy by speaking out, and there was much resistance when a handful of men and women did decide to raise the alarm and give that trumpet a certain sound. The resistance from the world was expected, but what was not anticipated, and cut the deepest, was the resistance that came from within. In spite of the repeated wounding from within and without, they pressed forward depending wholly upon God, and the attempts at religious legislation were defeated.

Here we are 130 years later and the same conflict is even at the doors. How will we respond? Will we not even bother to prayerfully study the records of history past because we feel that we know how this will end and that it is pointless to raise the alarm? Some in our church are questioning the interpretations of the prophetic warnings given to us in the mid to late 1800’s. They say history has changed, and Sunday laws will not come. Many more believe that they will still come, but that their duty is just to wait for them to happen - then they will know the end is near and they will be ready.

I believe the final warning is to be given for the sake of the general public. All who are in darkness are to be awakened to this impending danger to the principles of civil and religious liberty, which are both encompassed in liberty of conscience. This is how the great multitude will be reached.

At that time everyone will make their final decisions, fully understanding the principles involved: to embrace God and receive the submissive Spirit of His Son who believes in liberty of conscience, or to reject Him and let others decide for the “common good” how men are to worship. The majority will make their final decision to trample on the spirit that is working in their conscience, and that will result in complete self destruction when in the presence of the one who loved them, never condemned them, and was only trying to save them.

May we feel and acknowledge our constant dependence upon God and receive the faith of Jesus to bring the last great outpouring of the Spirit of God in the latter rain and give the loud cry that certain sound. Maranatha.

 See Ben Kramlich's sermon on this and others on this YouTube channel.